The good news is that the amount of biodiesel and renewable diesel available to U.S. consumers last year increased by almost 40 percent. The bad news for domestic producers is that imports increased by more than 50 percent in 2016.
“We are proud to be delivering record gallons of American made biodiesel, but that success is undermined by the fact our members are losing more than a third of the market to foreign imports,” said National Biodiesel Board CEO Donnell Rehagen.
According to numbers released by the EPA Thursday, the 2.9 billion gallons was an increase of 800 million gallons from 2.1 billion gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel in 2015. At the same time domestic production rose from about 1.4 billion gallons in 2015 to more than 1.8 billion gallons in 2016, well below available capacity. Imports increased by more than 50 percent from an estimated 670 million gallons in 2015 to over 1 billion gallons in 2016, shortchanging potential economic benefits to U.S. producers.
Rehagen says the numbers show the importance of reforming the biodiesel tax incentive as a domestic production credit. “If we want to see more jobs here in the United States…we need those gallons to be produced here in the United States,” he said during a meeting with reporters at last week’s National Biodiesel Conference. NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen meets the press